A diverse set of 11 songs from the Indiana, Pa.-based rock four-piece. This is a good-sounding LP, but at times seems to reach a bit too far from sound to sound: Some of the tunes are epic, others simple, groove-based pop. Nothing wrong with either, but it can be a rocky ride as an album. Excellent vocals, and beautiful production from Klint Macro. Talented young guys here.
— Andy Mulkerin
Act of Pardon
Five-song EP from the straightforward radio-ready rock five-piece. Act of Pardon starts with a power-pop base, but delves into rootsy stuff now and then and even has a little post-Sublime-style ska going on at one point. Eclectic, but cohesive in a '90s alt-rock way. Not bad!
— Andy Mulkerin
(New World Records)
This lyrical, often appealing, sometimes dramatic musical theater work was created 12 years after the composer's tenure as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony (1898-1904). As an American citizen, in his mid-50s, he eloquently harked back to homeland roots in librettist/lyricist Henry Blossom's spin on late 18th-century Irish rebellions. Though called an "operetta," this performance of the entire work, dialogue included, sounds quite opera-like. That seems especially true given that principal roles are sung by superb Irish opera singers in the studio cast, supplemented by a boys' choir from St. Patrick's Cathedral of Dublin, and the Orchestra of Ireland, conducted by David Brophy. Included here are five excellent songs from an earlier version called Hearts of Erin. With so many memorable moments, you can understand why many writers have considered this Herbert's finest score, amid his 45 for the stage. He himself was quite pleased, too.
— Gordon Spencer